From my diary

Back to John the Deacon’s Life of St Nicholas.

I’ve now completely retranslated chapter 1, the prologue, which I made an attempt at last year.  I’ve been comparing the text of the Falconius (1751) edition, which I am translating, with the Mombritius (1498) and the Mai (1820-ish) editions, and finding small differences, and noting them.

Over the last week I started downloading copies of manuscripts from the Bibliotheque Nationale Francais site, Gallica.  I’ve been bookmarking the start of John the Deacon, and looking at two places, one at the start and one at the end of the chapter.  I’m seeing variation alright.  But many of these manuscripts are probably all closely related.  I now have 9 manuscripts on disk, 2 of which do not contain chapter 1.

I’ve got three different lists of manuscripts.  The Bollandists list 121, and there are clearly more.  I don’t know how many are online – possibly around 20, I would guess.

Just finding online manuscripts by shelfmark is hard.  I have discovered the Biblissima site, and am using this.

It’s very helpful that the BNF allow downloads.  Less helpful are sites like the Vatican that force you to use a crummy viewer.

Ideally I could collect manuscripts using my mobile phone while lying on the sofa.  In actual practice it is quite hard work just to collect them, even using the PC.  But I am learning all the time.

Onward!

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